Have you found some digital resources to use in teaching research skills to your students? Do you still require your students to write research papers? If yes, what expectations do you have for their research writing?
Thinkfinity offers some resources in developing research skills. Here are a few provided by ReadWriteThink--
I recently found an interesting graphic for How to Do Research provided by the Kentucky Virtual Library.
Please share some of your tips in teaching research skills.
An educational public school program that I was a part of had the students create a presentation on any topic of their choice three times per year each year from K-5. These projects were videotaped and stored for the students entire elementary school years. I saw and found out personally that students could research very well when the subject was of interest to them. The students were required to pick a topic, research it, create a visual display, and write about their topic beginning with 1/2 page and then moving up in depth as they got older, present their topic to their peers and then field questions from their peers and respond to one teacher challenge question. If the student knew the answer to challenge question they were complete, if not they were instructed to go home and find the answer and report back the next day. The presenting student's parents, siblings, and grandparents were also invited into the class to see their child's presentation. This created a sense of ownership and an opportunity to show of to their peers and parents. At first there was a great deal of parent assistance but over the years the kids became more and more self-sufficient in creating the project on their own.
A few of the resources I used in teaching my class, came from The National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institute, and The Public Broadcasting System. These in depth websites offer discussion, lesson plans, and educational resources that can promote critical thinking, as well as language development. These three resources proved to be an entrance into eduactional advanmcement that broadened my classes discussion on a topic, by their inter-relatedness to educational themes, and served to focus my classes attention on their expansive use of research.
We're glad to hear you're finding Smithsonian resources a valuable addition to your classroom! Which specific lessons or activities have you been using? We'd love to hear what they are and how you're applying them--I'm sure it would help other members of the Community as well!
National Museum of American History
I love the graphic. I use the readWriteThink "Research Building Blocks" in the Intermediate grades during their library-media lessons. The students work on a major project in the fifth grade requiring them to write on a subject, create a presentation on the computer and present it orally.
Such a cool graphic! My teachers do still require research papers of their seniors and I would like to collaboratively redesign the research paper process at my school. One way I think we could vastly improve the process is to incorporate digital notetaking. I am looking for a way to for my 10-12th graders to take digital notes during their research process. Since notetaking is a core element of the research process, I am getting ready to experiment with using Evernote--the free version--as the students' notetaking software. They could access it from a desktop computer, an app on their smart phones, or on their iPad or tablet. For our students, while they don't have a 1:1 computing option, they have computer access when using the library. I'm really open to using web 2.0 tools in my research. I'd love to hear more about the way others do a modern research paper at the secondary level. I'll be checking into your suggested resources!
I'm glad you liked the graphic. I took a look at Evernote, and it appears to be a good, free, online source for digitized notetaking. I also found another free program called UberNote which may have some possibilities for web notes.
Let us know more about how your efforts to use Web 2.0 tools for research are working for your students. You may enjoy joining the group Online Tools for Educators which includes many discussions on using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.
My teaching of reseach skills has transformed over my 30+ years in education. As a language arts teacher, I find that preparing my students for their college experience is paramount. My students compose three research assignments during the school year. Most of my sophomores come to me with little or no researching skills. Since I collaborated with the guidance department, I devised a career paper. It is best to have students compose a paper in sections - cuts down on plagiarizing. Also, by requiring that the paper the written in the first person ( back in the day this would be unheard of) cuts down on the prospect of plagiarism. I agree with a previous post that that students need to discern what source are credible. That is a lesson itself. I tweaked a career project from ReadWriteThink site.
Students still have to use note cards and source cards. Otherwise, as novice researchers, their is a tendency to copy/paste. I "hold their hands" and go through every facet of the assignment with each student. The second and third assignment - no "holding hands" . The second assignment is for the students to write a persuasive letter to their parents/guardians asking them to financially support their post-secondary education. The last assignment is a multi-media project utilizing Google docs(presentation) , vocaroo, prezi, and video. A number of ELA content standards are involved in this project.Because most students are technologically savvy, the learning curve for most of the tools used in the project is minimal.
I also use the Big 6 research model when teaching research skill as well as Super 3 for the younger students. I use many of the games and activities from the Big 6 website. Using the primary sources from Smithsonian helps with students and their research. The History Channel as well as PBS has a wealth of information that is geared to students and research.
In my school system, we have databases. They are created for k-6 and 6-12 resources. Some of these databases include World Book Student, Sirs Discover, America the Beautiful and many more. I teach the students how to do a general search and also how to narrow our search topics. Some databases for the younger students have pictures and videos to help them locate information.
Each year my students are assigned a research paper on the life of a famous artist. One of the techniques I have found to be extremely effective is to have the students open two word documents as they work on their online research. In the first document (which must be clearly labeled), they list each website they obtained used and the facts they found on that site. I allow them to cut and paste in this portion of their research in the interest of efficiency and accuracy. Since they also have to submit these documents, it really helps avoid plagiarism as well. The second document is used to record any questions they may have, thoughts about research they have found and any discrepancies in their research.
In addition, whenever they encounter discrepancies, the information must be verified through at least two other resources.